Former Athens Teacher Tells Her Own Chicken Soup Tale


Virginia Reeder of Athens is one of the contributors to the latest version of the bestselling Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Her story, titled “A Life Once Touched,” appears in the recently-released Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Teachers — 101 Stories About How You Make a Difference. It is in tribute to Ruby Martin, who served as a testing coordinator for Trinity Valley Community College for many years.

“Without her encouragement, I probably would have never gone to college to become a teacher,” Reeder says.

Reeder has lived in Athens about 36 years and taught at Athens High School for 20 years, retiring in 2015. She credits Martin with nudging her in the right direction and she wanted to let her know that.

“I feel that the most important part of the message (in the book) is when I was compelled to tell Ms. Martin how much her encouragement had meant to me. ‘If you had not taken the time to make me feel as if I had some potential, if you had not believed in me and encouraged me, I would never have gone to college.  No one ever believed in me before.’  Teachers so often never get to know when they have changed a life for the better. I had a chance to be sure she knew.”

Reeder will appear at a book-signing event in May at Gallery 211 in downtown Athens. Check the calendar on for details.

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